Facebook today announced a new feature that will allow users to export their Facebook posts and notes to a number of third-party services. Although the company has long since offered tools that let you download the information you’ve posted to Facebook, the tool launching today offers a more practical way of saving that data — by allowing you to export your notes and posts to popular services like Google Docs, Blogger, or WordPress.com.
Facebook users will find this latest feature under the “Your Facebook Information” menu in Settings, where you’ll then click “Transfer Your Information.” A series of prompts will walk you through the process to transfer you data to the one of the available destinations.
To protect the data, Facebook says it will ask users to re-enter their password before the transfer begins, which it also does with other exports. The process will encrypt the data as it moves between Facebook and the other service, the company notes.
The move to support the export of text-based content is interesting, as it’s been reported Facebook is developing a competitor to newsletter platform Substack. The social network aims to capitalize on the growing momentum in the newsletter industry, which has recently seen a number of top writers leave larger publications in order to connect with their audience directly, via paid newsletters. Twitter also acquired a newsletter business, Revue, to pursue the same goals. While Facebook didn’t say if it’s upcoming product would be included in the export procedure announced today, it makes for a good hedge against any sort of anti-competitive claims if and when Facebook rolls out the new service.
Today’s addition is part of Facebook’s larger Data Transfer Project, a collaboration between tech giants designed to give users more ways to move their content between services. Last year, for example, Facebook added a feature that gave users a way to export their Facebook photos and videos to Google Photos, as a result of the team-up. Users can now also export photos and videos to Backblaze, Dropbox, and Koofr, as well.
Alongside news of its announcement, Facebook argued for regulation in the area of data portability. It said there should be laws that determine which data should be made portable, and who is responsible for protecting the data once it has been transferred. The company also pointed to comments it filed with the FTC last year as well as a white paper that explored the privacy questions that surround the development of data portability tools.